Environmental education through the curriculum: pending task in the training of future professionals


Environmental education through the curriculum: pending task in the training of future professionals


La educación ambiental desde lo curricular: tarea pendiente en la formación de los futuros profesionales



Félix Felipe Quintanilla Gómez1, Yeney Viera Hurtado2, Jorge Oscar González Peña3

1 "Marta Abreu" Central University of Las Villas. Villa Clara. Cuba. E-mail: yvierah@uclv.cu
2 "Marta Abreu" Central University of Las Villas. Villa Clara. Cuba. E-mail: ogonzalezp@uclv.cu
3 "Marta Abreu" Central University of Las Villas. Villa Clara. Cuba. E-mail: ramonads@infomed.sld.cu



To the editor:

In the bibliographic review carried out by the authors for the writing of this letter was found the abundance of articles on environmental education from the extension work of the universities; however, it is considered that the treatment of this subject is still insufficient in the projection of the university in relation to the role of the new generations of future professionals in the different branches of knowledge, through the curriculum.

It coincides with Avendaño1 which considers that: "... current educational strategies do not show indicators where the role of Environmental Education (EA) is highlighted in the enrichment of values for collective coexistence, and to this respect, the care of resources…".

The current university has the privileged role of being the social institution that most fully preserves, develops or promotes culture, according to Silva Arocha et al.,2 but also as part of that culture, environmental education is a task to be attempted by these institutions.

Environmental problems are of global nature: ozone depletion, climate change, deforestation, among others offer a series of nuances that make them especially interesting to be approached from the perspective of the curriculum in the different subjects in the higher education. In this sense, environmental education is the educational process that deals with the relationship of the human being with his environment (natural and artificial) and with itself, as well as the consequences of this relationship. In this way, it must constitute an all-embracing process, with relevance in the entire framework of teaching and learning; so it is necessary an educational process that establishes the relationship of any subject or activity of the human being, within an analysis of the importance or incidence in social and environmental life.3

According to what has been expressed, the authors of this letter attach particular importance to the need to contribute to environmental education through physical culture in general, and the Physical Education class in higher education, taking advantage of the curriculum of this discipline.

Environmental education is a process that allows us to understand the interdependence relationship between man and its environment, based on reflexive and critical knowledge of his biophysical, political, social, economic and cultural reality.4 It is also a dynamic process in which many people and institutions; seeks to sensitize and prepare the population to identify with global and local environmental issues, and has as a fundamental objective to promote the harmonious relationship between nature and human activities. This essentially bioethical purpose aims to achieve a culture of conservation, in which all clean production techniques are applied in all its production processes, matching with the possibility of sustainable development.5

There are several trends in the implementation of the environmental dimension in the university environment: the insertion of courses or specific subjects on environmental topics in the curricula, the integration of this topic in the traditional contents already established6 and as a curricular strategy; however, in the opinion of these authors, higher education is urged to re-dimension environmental education through their curricula, and that is why it is considered that the professional of physical culture could be, in this sense, a promoter of the care of the environment with an outstanding role also in citizen training.

Through the Physical Education class, life quality is improved through physical exercise, but at the same time the motor development, the recreation and the awareness about the environment are combined. From this perspective, the particularities of the teaching-learning process offer its potential for attention to this type of education. The contents are directed to the development of physical capacities, sports and basic motor skills and to the related theoretical knowledge in function of the maintenance and preservation of man´s health; hence their training possibilities for environmental education.

Teachers specialized in physical culture should be aware that beyond the work and improvement of the physical capacities and abilities of the students, their contents must be meaningful in their connection with the objectives of environmental education and contribute to it through their classes.

Undoubtedly, it is an outstanding pending task of higher education as a way to contribute to a harmonious and conscious formation of future professionals in the care and preservation of the environment for the achievement of sustainable development.


Declaration of interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.



1. Avendaño WR. La educación ambiental (EA) como herramienta de la responsabilidad social (RS). Rev Luna Azul [Internet]. 2012 [citado 20 Jun 2017];(35):[aprox. 23 p.]. Disponible en: http://www.scielo.org.co/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1909-24742012000200007&lng=en

2. Silva Arocha A, Guerra Pentón D, Molina Cáceres JC, Luis Díaz D. La extensión universitaria en su vínculo con la comunidad. En: Yayabociencia 2015 [Internet]. Sancti Spíritus; Universidad de Sancti Spíritus; 2015. [citado 21 Jun 2017]. Disponible en: http://biblioteca.uniss.edu.cu/sites/default/files/CD/Yayabociencia%202015/documentos/13-Perfecc_proce_univ/5Ariadna%20Silva%20Arocha.pdf

3. Martínez Castillo R. La importancia de la educación ambiental ante la problemática actual. Rev Electrónic@ Educare [Internet]. 2010 [citado 20 Jun 2017];4(1):[aprox. 15 p.]. Disponible en: http://www.revistas.una.ac.cr/index.php/EDUCARE/article/view/1513/1433

4. Negret Fuentes J. Formación ciudadana, cultura física y deporte: estrategia para una formación de calidad. Revista Cubana de Educación Superior [Internet]. 2016 [citado 26 Jun 2017];35(1):[aprox. 15 p.]. Disponible en: http://scielo.sld.cu/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0257-43142016000100001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es

5. Sarmiento Medina PJ. Bioética ambiental y ecopedagogía: una tarea pendiente. Acta Bioeth [Internet]. 2013 [citado 29 Jun 2017];19(1):[aprox. 10 p.]. Disponible en: http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1726-569X2013000100004

6. Núñez M, Torres A, Álvarez N. Evolución e importancia de la educación ambiental: su implicación en la educación superior. Rev Educación y Futuro. 2012;(26):155-171.



Submitted: July 5 2017.
Accepted: july 5 2017.



Yeney Viera Hurtado. "Marta Abreu" Central University of Las Villas. Villa Clara. Cuba. E-mail: yvierah@uclv.cu

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